Earning the right to stay: A new points test for citizenship

Status
Not open for further replies.

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#1
The Government has already made fundamental reforms to the immigration system to control migration in a way that is firm but fair. We now want to take these reforms a stage further, to build upon and strengthen the principle of earned citizenship.
This consultation document seeks views on:
· introducing a new points test for earned citizenship, to better manage the numbers allowed to settle permanently in the United Kingdom;
· delivering the earned citizenship system in partnership with local authorities;
· supporting those who are on the path to citizenship to integrate into their new communities; and
· managing the impacts of migration on the developing world.
The consultation is open for 12 weeks from 3 August 2009, and we welcome your comments.
Responses to the consultation should be sent by no later than midnight on 26 October 2009 to the Citizenship Consultation Team.
You can also post your response to:
Citizenship Consultation
UK Border Agency
9th floor, Whitgift Centre Block B
15 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR9 3LY

Or you can read and respond to the survey online.
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#2
The Border and Immigration Agency THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP: Next Steps in Reforming Th

Purpose

The purpose of this briefing is to provide an overview of the key points of the governments proposals regarding
·reforms to the pathway to citizenship: including qualification criteria and the stages of the journey;
·reform of benefit access rules: including access to benefits, education and healthcare; the rights and responsibilities of EEA Nationals; and
·the simplification of the immigration system and reforming the law: including the simplification principles; receiving and registering applicants; protection; managing the border; establishing purpose of entry and stay; enforcement and compliance; biometrics information; and appeals.

Key Principles

The key principle of this green paper runs consistently throughout all aspects of the reform proposals, of simplifying the structure, process and legislation governing current immigration law and practice. The paper draws together some of the issues drawn out from The Commission on Integration and Cohesion, which was established by the Department for Communities and Local Government in June 2006, and links closely to the wider Government agenda to increase the cohesiveness of our communities. It also references feedback from nine public listening sessions that were held across the UK throughout 2007, and to the Simplification Consultation which was also conducted in 2007.

·Strengthening our borders
·Maximising the economic benefits of migration
·Strengthening our approach to prevent illegal immigration
·Holding newcomers accountable for their behaviour
·Maintaining a compassionate system which honours our asylum obligations

Goals

The paper outlines three primary goals:
·To bring to the UK the skills and talents, assets and ideas needed to stay one of the worlds leading nations
·To reunite UK citizens and permanent residents with their loved ones
·To honour the UK tradition of providing a safe haven to those fleeing torture and persecution

Objective

“ …to make our immigration system clearer, more streamlined and easier to understand, in the process reducing the possibilities for abuse of the system, maximising the benefits of migration and putting British values at the heart of the system.â€

Ten Point Deal – delivery for 2008.
Britains border protection programme
·Introduce a single border force to guard ports and airport
·Introduce police-like powers for frontline staff
·Check fingerprints before the issue of a visa anywhere in the world
·Count foreign nationals in and out of the country
·Introduce compulsory watch-list checks for all travellers before they take-off for Britain

Maximise the economic benefits of migration
·Introduce a new Australian style ‘points based system’ (PBS) so business can bring-in the legal migrants our economy needs.


Strong steps to prevent illegal immigration
·Introduce compulsory ID cards for those foreign nationals who want to stay
·Major on the spot fines for employers who don’t make the right checks to ensure migrants they employ have the right to work

Holding newcomers accountable for their behaviour
·Introduce automatic deportation for serious criminals and build more detention spaces to help
 

mand3366

New Member
#3
Mel,

What are your thoughts on the new proposed measures? I actually think they are a good idea but really cannot see how they will be implemented AND who gets to fund the obvious financial impact this is going to have on the system?

Have voiced my concerns on the survey website!!

M x
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#4
I think they are good in theory, but like you ~ their implentation is going to be all over the place, different "points" for differnet things, different categories of "immigrant" ~
Some people will simply "walk in" bringing every aunt and uncle they can muster, and others ~ "settlement" visa's ~ I think are going to be hard hit, Visitor visa's are going to be so hard to get, there will be legal cases all over the place!!

Its not going to get any better ~ no-one is going to know what they are doing, there will be admin errors ~ and thats where the UKBA will get their refusals from.

ALL that has to be funded huh? good old taxpayer, dig deep its your pocket AGAIN!

there is more on this ~
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#5
But a compassionate system
·Honour UK asylum obligations but make – and enforce – decisions much faster, and with a more sensitive treatment for children

Developing the ‘architecture’
The goals, objectives and ten point deal outlined above provide the architectural framework for the development of what is proposed to be a much more cohesive and simplified system of immigration, that promotes cohesion, positive benefits to the UK and British values.

Citizenship – qualification and stages
The green paper identifies three key problems with the current citizenship process:
1.Complexity
2.Lack of process clarity
3.Lack of incentive

The government is keen to increase the number of people entering the citizenship process as a means to increasing cohesion and a sense of belonging. To encourage this increase the government is developing a number of incentives for citizenship applicants, including linking the new staged process to benefit availability and shortening the length of time it takes to become a citizen upon proof of community activity and in comparison to permanent residence.

In future there will be three key routes to naturalisation as a British citizen:
1.Highly skilled and skilled workers who have entered under the points based system (tiers 1 and 2) and are working and contributing taxes;
2.Family members of British citizens and permanent residents;
3.Those in need of protection and their dependants (refugees and those granted humanitarian protection)

There will also be three stages in the journey through to citizenship or permanent residence
1.A period of temporary residence – initial time-limited period during which economic migrants will contribute taxes; where family members will be sponsored by their families or prove self-sufficiency; and those in need of protection will be allowed to stay. Those who do not qualify for the probationary period i.e. workers entering under tiers 4 and 5 of the PBS – students and temporary /seasonal workers and visitors – will be required to leave at the end of their period of temporary residence.
Those economic migrants who qualify to proceed into the probationary period, will have been temporary residents for five years. Those who have gained temporary residence as family members will be able to proceed to probationary citizenship after two years. Those who are refugees or have been granted Humanitarian Protection will have temporary residence for five years. Providing the circumstances in their country of origin have not improved to the point whereby they are no longer deemed to require protection, after five years they will qualify to proceed onto the probationary period.
2.
A period of probationary citizenship – this is a new stage in the process that is time-limited to encourage migrants to proceed to citizenship and integrate into UK society. It is time in which migrants can demonstrate that they have earned the right to become a British citizen by developing their command of English language, being law-abiding and contributing economically and through community activity. Whilst the probationary period is time limited – a minimum of one year for those wishing to proceed to full citizenship, and a minimum of three years for those seeking permanent residence – the period can be reduced to the minimum if evidence of community activities and participation is submitted. Likewise, it may be increased if elements of the criteria have not been sufficiently met, or if some element of abuse has occurred i.e. minor offences. These criteria have yet to be decided and form part of the current consultation questionnaire.
British citizenship / permanent residence
– People who choose to pursue permanent residence can remain in the UK indefinitely and can progress to citizenship if they meet the criteria. Attaining British citizenship is seen as completion of the journey with the concurrent acquisition of full rights and benefits
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#6
Benefits
The government is keen to:
·Clarify which benefits and services migrants can access at each stage of the process;
·Assess how they can simplify often complex, cross-departmental legislation:
·Consider whether migrants should be required to pay an additional fee to help alleviate the transitional pressures migration can bring

Benefit Access
Temporary Residents
·Those entering under economic or family routes should be able to support themselves without access to social security benefits or social housing. Those migrants from outside the EEA have no eligibility for social housing unless they are:
oAn asylum seeker granted refugee status, or an asylum seekers or other vulnerable person granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave;
oA person granted Indefinite Leave to Remain

·(Workers from A8 countries are required to register with the Home Office under the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS). Registration under the WRS makes workers eligible for certain in-work benefits such as tax credits, and social housing. Other benefits become available when they have the right to reside – after a twelve month registration period has been completed.
·A2 workers, i.e. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, need to hold an accession worker card or a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme work card in order to be legally employed in the UK. Once an A2 worker has been legally employed on a continuous basis for 12 months, they no longer have to register and attain a full right to reside in the UK as a worker and have an unrestricted right to access the labour market. During their first twelve months in the UK, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are eligible for certain in-work benefits and social housing.)
·Refugees and those granted humanitarian protection will continue to be entitled to all benefits and services, including access to FE at home student fee rates,subject to meeting the relevant requirements. In view of the special circumstances that lead refugees to come to the UK and seek protection, and in order that the government can meet its international responsibilities, this group of people (and those recognised as having a temporary need for our protection) will retain full access to benefits whilst in the UK.


Probationary Citizens
This is a new stage in the process.
[Whilst the green paper makes clear that those with refugee status, humanitarian protection or recognised as having a temporary need for protection will continue to be able to access full benefits whilst in the temporary leave category, it is unclear whether this entitlement is retained as a probationary citizen. There is no reference to a withdrawal of this entitlement to full access, but it is perhaps a point which needs further clarification.]
Those that can move on to the probationary citizen stage are:
·Tier 1 and 2 workers from the PBS; family route; and refugees
·Expectation will continue to support themselves (no clear distinction made here for refugees) until such time as they become British citizens or permanent residents.
·Probationary citizens will not therefore be entitled to access mainstream benefits or local authority housing.
·Requirement to send children to school
·Entitlement to NHS care
·ESOL access at home rates
·HE access only available at home rates once either full citizen or permanent resident

British Citizens / Permanent Residents
Upon becoming the above attain full access rights to mainstream benefits and services.

A cross-departmental review of all legislation governing migrants’ access to benefits and services will be undertaken to ensure it is as clear and consistent as possible.
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#7
Transitional Funding
The concept of the provision of some transitional funding to assist communities which might be subject to particularly rapid change is something which the Local Government Association have supported for some time. However, the government’s position of raising this transitional fund through contributions from migrants themselves is relatively new.

The green paper states that the government would aim to raise tens of millions of pounds, with the fund operating from April 2009, by increasing the fees for immigration applications. The government are also keen to make a distinction in charging, between those migrants that make small demand on public services, and those, such as children and the elderly, that make more of a demand on public services. The proposal is that children and the elderly will be expected to pay more into the fund than other migrants.

EEA Nationals
The government is clear throughout the green paper that migration should be of benefit to the UK, and whilst most of the reforms that are outlined will have little or no effect on EEA Nationals, there is a clear intention by the government to ensure that EEA Nationals obey the law, contribute positively to the UK economy and develop appropriate language skills to facilitate integration.

The paper outlines the governments intention to set up two cross-departmental teams to look at these issues and develop proposals to put to EU partners.

Simplifying the System and Reforming the Law

Key Simplification Principles
Simplification should maximise:
·Transparency
·Efficiency
·Clarity and predictability
·Plain English
·Comprehensive = public confidence

Simplification should minimise:
·The need for further legislation
·Reliance on concessions
·Discretion
·Inconsistency
·Duplication
·Gaps in powers to resolve complex cases

These principles are expected to underpin the three basic agency functions, which are identified as:
1.Register – all applications to stay in the UK
2.Decide – those applications
3.Conclude – implementing those decisions

These functions will operate within a three tier framework:

  • Single piece of legislation;
  • More flexibility below that level with clear and consistent immigration rules, which are capable of quick adjustment to changing circumstances, alongside any other necessary secondary legislation;
  • Shorter and sharper operational guidance that limits but retains an element of discretion

Simplifying the legal architecture
Propose the new law should provide:
·Everyone who is not a British citizen requires “permission†to be in the UK – this will amalgamate several separate concepts such as entry clearance, leave to enter and leave to remain.
·Some are “entitled†to such permission automatically i.e. EU Citizens, but may be required to demonstrate the entitlement.
·Others must “apply†for permission. This may be before travel or on arrival or after entry.
·Anyone who requires permission but doesn’t have it must leave and is liable to expulsion.
·A person is “in the UK†if physically present here, including port of entry and in transit airside.

Receiving and registering applications
The context of simplification must be set in the wide-ranging changes already implemented such as the end-to-end casework model and the PBS.

In the future, the Immigration Case Work programme (ICW), is a far reaching change programme that will focus upon improving business processes and renewing supporting IT systems, to develop better ways of working and link processes to the person.

[FONT=&quot]ICW will take account of lessons learnt as well as good practice from other areas of business.[/FONT]
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#8
Pre application language requirement for spouses

It Just Gets Better ~ check out the date ~ SUMMER 2011

Pre application language requirement for spouses

The Immigration system is undergoing the biggest reform in 45 years, As part of this reform we are updating our policies for those who wish to marry a British person or person settled here.

Spouses seeking to settle in the UK do not need to demonstrate English until they have been in the UK for two years. They are the largest group who did not pass the English test after two years.

The key objectives of the policy are:

To help newcomers integrate into British life as quickly as possible.

To increase the prospects of a newly arrived spouse finding productive employment

To make clear the importance of learning English before arrival, as migrant spouses will be obliged to take language tests when applying for citizenship or permanent residence.

To improve Equality of opportunity and treatment of migrant spouses.
To ensure these changes take real effect we propose a change to the Immigration rules.

This change will come into force in Summer 2011.

The new policy will affect
• Those being sponsored through migration routes where to become married or being married is the only basis of entry to the UK.

• Those being sponsored through other migration routes involving relationships such as civil partnerships, same *** partners, unmarried partners, proposed civil partners, and fiancés, where the relationship is the only basis of entry to the UK.

They will be treated in the same way as marriage cases.

• Those seeking leave to remain in the UK in the above categories.

The requirement will apply where those being sponsored are foreign nationals from outside the EEA.

Those being sponsored will need to meet an English language requirement before they are granted a marriage visa.
 
N

nela

Guest
#9
I think I will have to print it off Mel..how many sheets of paper will I need in case you will post more info? x x x
 

KIZZEY

Active Member
#10
WOW!! Thats a lot to take in Mel but I think I got the gist of it. If its going to be brought in Summer 2011 hopefully Sad will have done everything he needs to do ILR and such by then (fingers crossed) but it sounds like its going to be an up hill struggle for those after that. Can understand where they coming from though cos it is getting so cosmopolitan here lol x
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#11
I think I will have to print it off Mel..how many sheets of paper will I need in case you will post more info? x x x
LOL get yourself a ream or two lol JOKING!

I have asked for it to be a sticky ~ as it is VERY relevant to everyone on here who will be looking for their hubby to join them, or thier fiance to visit etc (that will get turned down pretty much from the get go!)

then we can all pick our way through it.

not all of it is relevant to everyone ~ you only need to look at the EEA/EU rules hun.:)
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#12
Marriage Visa's

Impact Assessment What is the problem under consideration? Why is government intervention necessary?
The immigration system is currently undergoing significant reforms. As part of this reform we are updating our policies for those who wish to marry a British person or person settled here.
Spouses seeking to settle in the UK do not need to demonstrate their knowledge of English language until they have been in the UK for two years. They are also the largest group who do not pass the English test after two years. Government intervention is necessary to highlight the importance of learning English before entry into the UK.
Impact Assessment What are the policy objectives and the intended effects?
The key objectives of the policy are:
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]To help newcomers integrate into British life as quickly as possible;
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]To increase the prospects of a newly arrived spouse finding productive employment;
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]To make clear the importance of learning English before arrival, as a migrant spouse will be obliged to take language tests when applying for citizenship or permanent residence.


Impact Assessment When will the policy be reviewed to establish the actual costs and benefits and the achievement of the desired effects?



The marriage visa system will be continously monitored over time.

Impact Assessment Ministerial Sign-off For final proposal/implementation stage Impact Assessments:
I have read the Impact Assessment and I am satisfied that, given the available evidence, it represents a reasonable view of the likely costs, benefits and impact of the leading options
Signed by the responsible Minister: Date: 27/7/2009
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#13
points make prizes! for Citizenship!

What is the problem under consideration? Why is government intervention necessary?
We believe there is a good case for strengthening aspects of the immigration system especially with regard to citizenship.
•
We would like to reinforce the principle that citizenship is not an automatic right.
•
We would like greater ability to manage the number of people progressing to citizenship
•
We would like to continue to support the integration of migrants
•
We would like to consider the role of local authorities in regard to citizenship

What are the policy objectives and the intended effects?
The policy measures in the accompanying consultation document are intended:
•
To ensure newcomers must earn the right to stay by proving their commitment to the country – and only those who do will be rewarded with British citizenship.
•
To introduce a points based test when individuals want to move from temporary residence in the UK to permanent settlement.
•
To ensure that those migrants who do stay fully integrate into their communities. Speaking English and taking an active part in the community are all essential to integration.
What policy options have been considered? Please justify any preferred option.
The accompanying consultation documents considers options around:
•
Points for probationary citizenship and increasing engagement between local authorities and migrants on the path to citizenship.
•
Creating new roles, in regard to citizenship, for local authorities
•
Improving integration through enhancing English language and knowledge of life requirements.
•
Managing the impacts of migration on the developing world. Impacts of immigration.

When will the policy be reviewed to establish the actual costs and benefits and the achievement of the desired effects? The policy proposals will be reviewed after the close of the consultation.

Ministerial Sign-off For consultation stage Impact Assessments:
I have read the Impact Assessment and I am satisfied that, given the available evidence, it represents a reasonable view of the likely costs, benefits and impact of the leading options
Signed by the responsible Minister: Date: 27/7/2009
1
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#14
Pre-application English requirements for spouses

3.12 For those people coming to the UK as spouses, it is important that we encourage
integration into the community at as early a stage as possible. In July 2008 we published the Government response document ‘Marriage Visas: The Way Forward’, which gave a commitment to introduce a pre-entry English test for marriage visa applicants in the medium term, linked to benchmarks about the
availability of English tuition worldwide.

3.13 In that document we committed to establishing a group comprising relevant
Government Departments, including FCO, DIUS, DfID, as well as the British Council,
to advise on implementation of the new requirement; in particular, how to ensure
provision of English language tuition overseas. This group felt that setting a clear
date for implementation would generate a sufficient supply of English tuition to meet
the demand created by the requirement. We are therefore proposing that the introduction of this requirement be brought forward to summer 2011.

3.14 A pre-entry English requirement for spouses will be an important mechanism
for promoting integration. While proposals for such a requirement received a mixed
response in the marriage consultation, we believe there are clear benefits to this
approach: improving employment chances for spouses who have access to the labour
market; raising awareness of the importance of speaking English; and helping prepare
spouses for the English tests they will need to pass to obtain probationary citizenship. A pre-entry English requirement will also lead to reduction in the costs to the taxpayer of translation services for non-English speakers as more spouses speak English on arrival in the UK. This policy is in line with thinking in other EU states: the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark have all introduced pre-entry language requirements, with France also introducing new exams on French language
and culture pre-entry for family reunification applications in the near future.

3.15 Our original proposals had envisaged the introduction of interim measures pending full implementation of the requirement, whereby spouses would be required to enter into an agreement to learn English as part of the visa application process before coming to the UK, and to show that they have fulfilled this commitment once they have arrived. However, as we are bringing forward implementation of our pre-entry English requirement we feel this interim step is no longer necessary.

3.16 A pre-entry English language requirement will apply to spouses, civil partners, unmarried and same *** partners, fiancés and proposed civil partners whether they apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK. So that it is clear that this requirement will apply both to those seeking entry clearance, and to those already in the UK who seek to switch into the marriage route, we now propose to rename this requirement a pre-application English language requirement for spouses, rather than a pre-entry requirement.

3.17 The new pre-application requirement will be for applicants to speak English to level A1 (basic) of CEFR. A1 is considered an achievable standard which would require
approximately 40-50 hours tuition for most learners. Setting this level is realistic as well as cost effective for applicants. It is also consistent with the English requirement for
those entering as a skilled migrant under Tier 2 of PBS.

3.18 It is our intention to assess competency in English using the pre-entry English model used in the Points Based System (see Box 2 below). However, while those entering under the Points Based System are required to provide evidence that they are competent in listening, speaking, writing and reading, it is proposed that spouses should only have to demonstrate that they can speak English to the required level. Speaking English is more important on arrival than reading and writing English and would be easier for spouses to demonstrate. There are also more informal ways of acquiring spoken English overseas – for example through conversation with an English speaker - which may lower the cost of learning compared with learning to read and write in English. Those who are already in the UK and seeking to switch into the marriage route will naturally have had many opportunities to practise their English
speaking skills.

3.19 The pre-application English language requirement for spouses will be taken
forward by making relevant changes to the Immigration Rules
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#15
How about this little gem ~

3.8 To meet this need, we are proposing a new approach to testing language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements, where applicants would be tested twice before being granted citizenship:

a test based on practical issues from the handbook at the probationary citizenship
stage including UK society, customs, traditions, geography, health, education,
employment, the law; and a test on more challenging topics at British citizenship stage (history, how the UK is governed, relations with Europe and the rest of the World, voting rights, community engagement).

A similar approach could be taken to the ESOL with citizenship courses.
 

janette b

Well-Known Member
#16
mel, should we be shocked ? I don't think so this is how they will get away with refusing settlement visas in the future- but they will let illegals stay- typical of uk boffins....I am not sure where they get their ideas from but same old story.... UK citizen at bottom of pile and Asylum seekers and Illegals at the top. And they say they understand the importance of family connections-thats what they said when they refused makrems visitors visa ????? think they got that wong ha ha
 

KIZZEY

Active Member
#17
How about this little gem ~

would be tested twice before being granted citizenship:

.
WTF!!!!! Gets better an better!:eek:
 
N

nela

Guest
#18
oki doki I willl wait till you post everything hun x x
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#19
mel, should we be shocked ? I don't think so this is how they will get away with refusing settlement visas in the future- but they will let illegals stay- typical of uk boffins....I am not sure where they get their ideas from but same old story.... UK citizen at bottom of pile and Asylum seekers and Illegals at the top. And they say they understand the importance of family connections-thats what they said when they refused makrems visitors visa ????? think they got that wong ha ha
Hi hun, NO not shocked, some of this is some 30/40 years overdue!
it will affect some countries more than others, the USA, Canada, Australia and NZ are "english speaking" and can easily grasp some of the unfamiliar points that are done differently in those countries, but where does that leave the girls here huh? everyone buying a few books and the guide to the ESOL and spending their time with their guys going through it to get them to a certain level BEFORE they can even THINK of applying for a visa, then there is the "social housing" comment ~ that will filter through to all, meaning that if you live in a council house chances are you could get refused!
Visitors can ONLY be "sponsored" by "family members" so there is NO CHANCE of the girls here being able to get a visitor visa for their guy for him to experience british life!

SETTLEMENT VISA'S WILL BE THE TOUGHEST THINGS TO GET:(
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#20
WTF!!!!! Gets better an better!:eek:
twice huh? first on language, and then on political history LOL

most ~ the average person has no interest, no knowledge, and was not taught it at school in the UK, hell history and Geography are bing "belnded" into 1 single subject now in schools!

they are looking at people totally "renouncing" their own culture ~ thats how it seems, and thats not going to happen, as thats not how it is now in britian!

I am not saying its right or wrong, just saying thts how it is huh?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top